One of the most important tasks in market research is the identification of importance. Only then can the focus be directed to the essential properties. This is a frequent issue in market research, however there is still a need for reliable methods of measuring importance.

Maximum Difference Scaling (MaxDiff) is a method that determines the importance of different items within a questionnaire. It can be understood as an extension of the pair comparison method, but leads to better results.

The respondent is shown various selection sets of items (usually 3 to 4 items) from a complete item list. The composition of the set is based on an experimental design. From this selection set, the interviewee has to repsectively select the most or least desirable (or important).

From the answers of the respondents the individual importance for all items can be calculated by means of a special multivariate procedure.

Comparative studies have shown that Maximum Difference Scaling is the most appropriate method of measuring importance. Models identified with the importance of a maximum difference scaling survey have shown better quality in comparison studies than alternative methods. Furthermore, this method was proved to find the best differentiation between the investigated properties.

MaxDiff does not use scales, thereby avoiding, among other things, difficulties respondents may have in interpreting the scales.

MaxDiff surveys can not be done by phone. A CAPI or online survey is the best way to conduct MaxDiff interviews. In addition, a MaxDiff survey takes more time than other importance measurements.

Especially in this day and age it is essential to know what is important for the customer. The MaxDiff – Scaling offers the possibility to determine a complete ranking of all items relevant to you, no matter if terms, characteristics, benefit statements or brand names, through a simple query technique. With the conception, implementation and evaluation, we provide you with important information about what your customers consider to be a “Must”.

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